Chief's Corner

Fire Chief James Maxon

Chief Maxon
Chief Maxon


Office: 719-393-6891

Chief Maxon has served the Fire Service for 27-years and was appointed in March 2019 to lead the Fountain Fire Department. He is responsible for overall strategic leadership to ensure the department is well positioned to provide the best service to the citizens and visitors of the community. To accomplish this the Chief leads 72 volunteer and career members assigned to three fire stations providing a broad range of fire and emergency services to the community.


He has experience in initiating changes in department staffing and deployment, strategic planning, organizational culture, the department’s community-focused mission, personnel development, and a volunteer incentive program. Chief Maxon is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO) at the National Fire Academy. Has been designated as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of New Mexico, a Bachelors Degree in Business Management, and an Associates Degree in Fire Science. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sandoval County Commission in 2018 and was named New Mexico Fire Officer of the Year in 2012.  Chief Maxon served as the Chair for the Board of Trustees for the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) in 2018. PERA serves 90,000 members and manages a $15 billion dollar fund. He currently serves on the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Program Planning Committee for Fire Rescue International, and previously served on the IAFC Elections Committee, and the Fire Service Membership Council for the International Code Council.

Chief Maxon previously served as the Fire Chief (2012-2019) and Deputy Fire Chief (2006-2012) for the Sandoval County Fire Department that covers 3,700 square miles through 20 fire stations and 280 members. Chief Maxon previously served with the Mexico State Fire Marshal Office. During his tenure at the State Fire Marshal Office he conducted over 500 fire investigations and has been admitted as a fire origin and cause expert in both New Mexico and Colorado District Court. He has been successful in securing numerous convictions for arson related cases. Chief Maxon started his career as a volunteer firefighter with Hondo Fire and Rescue in 1992 in Santa Fe County where he served until 1997. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1994 and attended the 16-week Department of Defense Fire Academy graduating as number one in his class. He was assigned to Kirtland AFB where he provided crash rescue to Albuquerque International Airport, was a member of the Haz-Mat team, and provided structural fire response. He obtained the rank of company officer at age 20. He was named Airman of the year in 1995 for Kirtland AFB 377 CEG and nominated for the Top Twelve Airman in the Air Force Award.

In 1999 at age 24 he approached the Santa Fe Community College Board about the possibility of founding a fire science degree/training program for area firefighters. The Board approved the program and Chief Maxon spent several years developing and instructing courses. Today, the program has become part of the Public Safety Institute. Chief Maxon was a member of the original committee at the National Fire Academy that formed a model curriculum (known as FESHE) for an Associate's Degree in Fire Science in 1999. The degree program is now in use throughout the United States.